NFL Mock Draft 2013: Pre-Free Agency Edition

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16.  St. Louis Rams –  Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama

Warmack is an incredible talent, but as David DeCastro showed just a year ago, the guard position is not as valued in today’s NFL. Luckily for the Rams, they have two first-round picks and desperately need offensive line help. There is no better way to boost your offensive line than with a top-tier prospect at a position of need.

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Damontre Moore, Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M

The Steelers need to add youth to the defensive unit and need to add depth after releasing veteran James Harrison. Moore is a talented prospect that is sliding because of poor combine tests, but the kid can flat out ball. Moore would provide the Steelers a pass rush and he could immediately step in to a camp battle with Jason Worilds, who has not won over the coaching staff.

18. Dallas Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas

The Cowboys highly value Vaccaro and have needed help at safety for nearly half of the past decade. After the release of Gerald Sensabaugh, the Cowboys need for safety help is at an all-time high. It is very possible that the Cowboys could look to move up in the draft to land Vaccaro, but one thing is for sure — they are certainly making the former Longhorns star their top priority.

19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State

Werner was once viewed as a top three prospect, but it’s clear that he is more of a player that is solid in every area without being special in any single category. That delivers a minor blow to his draft stock, but don’t be worried, he is still a very reliable and consistent player that can generate pressure.

20. Chicago Bears – Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

There is every indication that Johnson could shoot up to the top fifteen, but with the way this mock draft played out he was available at pick twenty. That would be a beautiful situation for the Bears if they miss out on the top offensive tackles on the free agent market.

 21. Cincinnati Bengals – Manti Te’o, Linebacker, Notre Dame

A lot of people continue to bash Manti Te’o, but the harsh reality is that the kid can play and there is no way he makes it out of the first-round. With the Bengals allowing most of their free agents to walk, it would be a surprise if they didn’t pull the trigger on Te’o.

22. St. Louis Rams (From Redskins) – Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia

Danny Amendola seems like he is out the door and the Rams will need a slot receiver and return game contributor to step in to fill the void. There is no player more dynamic than Austin. He is incredible in tight spaces and would be a brilliant slot receiver for the teams. If they could land Warmack and Austin, they would be clear winners of day one.

23. Minnesota Vikings – DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson

Hopking is more of an under-the-radar receiver and may not be viewed as highly by the general public as Keenan Allen, but the Allen’s stock is sliding and Hopkins continues to rise. With Percy Harvin headed to Seattle in exchange for draft picks, the team needs to find reliable receiving options for young signal-caller Christian Ponder. If Harvin is out the door, Hopkins is a capable replacement and could even develop to be a more well-rounded and productive receiver than Harvin.

24. Indianapolis Colts – D.J. Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

The Colts made a big investment in Andrew Luck with the first-overall pick just a season ago. When you make that kind of investment in a big time player that is instrumental for your team’s success, you need to do everything in your power to be sure you protect him.

25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – Sylvester Williams, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina

With an additional first-round pick, the Vikings can look to add some help along the defensive line. Sylvester Williams would be a great option to plug in the middle of the line in a move that would help take some pressure off of Jared Allen.

26. Green Bay Packers– Johnathan Cyprien, Safety, Florida International

Johnathan Cyprien is a fascinating safety prospect that is getting recognition as the second-ranked player at his position. Cyprien is viewed a borderline first-round prospect, but not every team runs a coverage scheme like the Packers. For Green Bay, Cyprien is a beautiful fit that would solve a lot of their questions at the safety position. Johnathan Cyprien is certainly a name to keep an eye on.

27. Houston Texans - Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC

The Texans may not take Barkley here, but this would be a perfect area for a team to trade back into the first-round for their future franchise quarterback. The Texans would then be able to trade back and pick up extra draft picks while adding a player like Keenan Allen to line up across from Andre Johnson. If the team sticks with the pick and goes with Barkley, they would have a long-term replacement for Schaub, who will turn 32-years-old before the start of next season.

28. Denver Broncos – Kawann Short, Defensive Tackle, Purdue

Kawann Short was dominant at the collegiate level and possesses a rare combination of speed and strength. A number of Broncos defensive linemen could be leaving through free agency, and there is no logical reason for the team to keep Mitch Unrein as a potential starter if they can add a talent like Short.

29. New England Patriots – Jesse Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Williams is a versatile defensive lineman that could provide a boost to the Patriots defense front. Williams could move all around the Patriots defensive line and give Bill Belichick the type of defensive lineman that he likes to have. Vince Wilfork has the nose tackle position locked up, but Williams would provide an immediate upgrade over Brandon Deadrick and add an interior rush to the team’s defense. He has a non-stop motor and is going to bring it on every play.

30. Atlanta Falcons – Datone Jones, Defensive End, UCLA

Datone Jones created a lot of buzz during senior bowl week in Mobile, Alabama. With the team releasing John Abraham at the beginning of the month, they could benefit from a talented defensive end. There is a chance that Abraham could come back before the start of next season, but it never hurts to have some young depth on the roster.

31. San Francisco 49ers – Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State

Ian Williams, a former undrafted free agent, is currently slated to be the team’s starting nose tackle in 2013. If San Francisco could land a player like Hankins, who is the best pure nose tackle prospect in this year’s draft class, they will stay right on track and remain a Super Bowl favorite. San Francisco doesn’t have many holes on their roster, but they do have loads of draft picks. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team trade up and land one of the premier defensive linemen prospects.

32.  Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, Linebacker, LSU

Ray Lewis is gone and the team needs to add talent to the middle of their defense. Minter is a smart, hard-hitting linebacker who excels against the run. He is a very fierce and aggressive linebacker that would fit perfectly into the Ravens defensive. He has the necessary attitude that the team will need to continue Ray Lewis’ swagger.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft NFL Free Agency

  • Donn Scott

    What a HORRENDOUS pick at 17!!!!! Thank GOD you are not going to be in the Steelers War Room next month!

    • http://twitter.com/jnsanchez Josh Sanchez

      Moore was considered a top five pick before his poor showing at the combine. He is a very talented player that just needs a good coaching staff to help him put it all together. He is a great value at 17.

  • carlosatUCLA

    Datone Jones, UCLA – 1st round pick. I approve.

    • http://twitter.com/jnsanchez Josh Sanchez

      The more I see of the kid, the more impressed I am. He could find his way into the top twenty by the time it is all said and done.

      • carlosatUCLA

        Really hope a team using the 3-4 picks him up. He’s such a tweener and 3-4 defenses love tweeners at the DL. If some squad is going to rely on him being a pass-rusher in a 4-3 system, they will be disappointed, as much as I hate to say it.

        • http://twitter.com/jnsanchez Josh Sanchez

          I actually disagree and think a 4-3 would be perfect for him. He could get moved around from DE to 3-tech on passing downs like the Giants did with Justin Tuck. He has such a great combo of speed and strength that he can beat NFL offensive linemen. Off the edge, his first step and how quick he can fire out of his stance is just unbelievable.

          • carlosatUCLA

            Well sure, maybe in the combine. In college, he had similar conditioning (I think it’s worth noting that the UCLA guys’ fitness was due to first-year S&C coach Sal Alosi of TripGate fame), and while he was ridiculously great in that 3-4, Cassius Marsh — his counterpart — often outperformed him on the rare occasion that they switched it up to a 4-3 (UCLA did this RARELY, but still).

            And let’s remember 2010 & 2011, when UCLA did run a 4-3: He was a massive disappointment and people were wary about him even starting because he had never lived up to potential. Perhaps we can chalk this up to him being under a Neuheisel-coached team, but we can’t say for sure, can we?

          • http://twitter.com/jnsanchez Josh Sanchez

            Absolutely. You can never tell for sure how the coaching helps or hurts a prospect, but I am really excited to see him at the next level no matter the scheme.

  • THINK about it

    Just say NO to Matt Barkley!! I don’t think Yates is the answer, and we need to address the position soon, but not Barkley. Just not sure about him…we really need a #2 WR worth a crap.